USCIS will soon post its guidance for filing cap-subject H-1B petitions on April 1, 2014 for an Oct. 1, 2014 start date. It is anticipated that the demand for H-1Bs in fiscal year (FY) 2015 (which starts on Oct. 1, 2014) will be very strong and that the H-1B cap will be reached during the first week of April. 

Employers who plan to file an H-1B petition on behalf of a foreign worker for FY 2015 should do so on April 1, 2014 to ensure that the petition is received before the statutory cap is reached for FY 2015.  Universities, nonprofit research centers, and certain related entities are exempt from the H-1B cap, as are H-1B extensions and H-1B change of employer petitions for persons already counted against the H-1B cap in prior years. (Note: H-1B workers changing from cap-exempt to cap-subject employers may not be exempt from the H-1B cap.)

Given the tight H-1B cap filing window, employers should contact immigration counsel in early March if they plan to sponsor an employee in H-1B status with an Oct. 1, 2014 start date.